Board Election

The new members of the 2018-19 Board of Directors have been announced. Here is the breakdown of the open seats for the 2018-19 term:

There are a total of 16 seats on the ONA Board; one is an appointed, non-voting student representative. Eight members are in the middle of their terms and not up for re-election, including one appointee. The other eight directors will be at the end of their two-year terms or appointments.

Three of those eight seats are being held back to be filled by appointment following the election to address needs as determined by the Board, including the non-voting student representative. That leaves five seats up for election this year.

Participation on the ONA Board of Directors is a unique opportunity for digital professionals to guide the world’s largest organization of digital journalists in shaping the future of media and building a stronger industry. Board participation is a chance to grow personally and professionally, and to develop skills, experience and connections with a team of other passionate and motivated professionals.

Election process

The 2018 ONA Board election opened on Oct. 3, 2017. At that time, all ONA members were be eligible to cast ballots. Voting closed Oct. 19, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific.

  1. Study up on the 2018 candidate slate, which will be available beginning early September 2017.
  2. Log into the ONA member portal and find your unique election passcode.
  3. Visit the ONA eBallot system and log in using your passcode to claim your ballot.

Additionally, the ONA Board of Directors will appoint one non-voting Student Representative to the Board for a two-year term which will start on Jan. 1, 2018. More details about the selection of the student representative can be found here.

How to run for the board

Two forms must be submitted to complete candidacy for the ONA Board. The 2017 deadline for candidacy was Aug. 31, 2017.

  1. Ensure you’re a member of ONA in good standing. Confirm your membership status or renew your membership or join ONA here.
    Check Membership
  2. Review the nominee criteria and responsibilities required of board members, and have an understanding of ONA’s mission.
    Read Responsibilities
  3. Ask another ONA member to nominate you using the nomination form.
    Submit Nomination
  4. Provide your own information, your involvement with ONA, and your vision for the organization by completing the candidate form.
    Submit Candidacy

Note: Current members of the Board of Directors running for reelection are required to complete the candidate form only

What’s next? Nominations review process

The Governance Committee, led by a former or current board member, will screen candidates and present a slate of eligible candidates to the current board for its approval. It is the responsibility of the Governance Committee to present a slate that reflects a diversity of interests in the make-up of the board. Among the key factors the Governance Committee looks for:

  • Past involvement with ONA
  • Diversity reflective of the communities that journalism serves
  • Diversity of media represented
  • Executive experience and fundraising capacity
  • ONA membership type (professional, academic or associate)
  • Professional experience in digital media

Once the slate has been reviewed, the nominees will be notified by the Executive Director and announced to the ONA membership. A page listing nominees will be posted on, along with their photos, bios, stated qualifications and vision for ONA as submitted during the nomination process.

Nominees will be given up to four weeks to reach out to ONA members via social media or other communications platforms. They are welcome to include any relevant links for posting with their candidate profile on

Full timeline of process

From nominations to final results, the election process lasts approximately three months. Note that some dates are subject to change:

Aug. 2, 2017: Call for nominations
Aug. 31, 2017: Nominations close
September 2017: Nominee slate announced; campaigns begin
Oct. 3, 2017: Voting opens
Oct. 5, 2017: Candidate forum held at ONA17 in Washington, D.C.
Oct. 19, 2017: Voting closes; winners notified
November 2017: Election results announced
Jan. 1, 2018: New terms begin

Previous elections